Sunday, 27 November 2011
Muslim biology students are boycotting lectures about evolution because they conflict with their creationist beliefs, one of Britain’s leading scientists has revealed.

Steve Jones, emeritus professor of human genetics at University College London (UCL), said increasing numbers of his undergraduates were refusing to attend his lectures on evolution and complaining that the subject should not be taught on their course.

“It is a minority of students ... but [the problem] is definitely there and it is definitely growing,” said Jones, who teaches introductory genetics to about 300 first-year students, about a fifth of whom are Muslim.

“I had one or two slightly frisky discussions years ago with kids who belonged to fundamentalist Christian churches ... now it is Islamic, overwhelmingly.”


Jones said he was also aware of trainee doctors on UCL’s medical course, one of the most highly ranked in Britain, who refused to learn about evolution.

He added that refusal to discuss evolutionary science for religious reasons was growing among schoolchildren and a pupil had recently walked out of a talk he was giving on the subject.

Jones’s comments add to a growing row over creationism within British Islam. Increasing numbers of British Muslims believe Darwinism is incompatible with their conviction that Allah created mankind and all the other species in a single act of will after bringing the world into existence.

Earlier this year Usama Hasan, imam of the Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton, east London, and a senior engineering lecturer at Middlesex University, received death threats after suggesting that Islam and Darwinism could be compatible.

Tensions had risen last December when a Saudi cleric told a congregation in Birmingham that those who believed in evolution were unfit to lead Friday prayers.

Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and former Oxford professor, first raised the Muslim boycott of lectures in an interview with the Times Educational Supplement last month.

“Occasionally, my colleagues lecturing in universities lament having undergraduate students walk out of their classes when they talk about evolution — this is almost entirely Muslims,” he said. “I think there’s a very, very pernicious influence that is lasting up to the university years.”

Jones, who is also a founding professor at AC Grayling’s New College of the Humanities, said: “They don’t come [to lectures] or they complain about it or they send notes or emails saying they shouldn’t have to learn this stuff.”

He said that the students’ reasons for studying biology were “a mystery to me ... I think if you are a creationist you are basically wrong and self-deluding, but you are perfectly at liberty to go and study chemistry or English literature, but why study biology? It makes no sense.

“What they object to — and I don’t really understand it, I am not religious myself — they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God, who knows everything. But anyone who spins a coin knows there are random processes.”

Jones said that a biology or medical student who did not wish to learn about evolution could “probably muddle through, although I hope you would realise you were deluding yourself”.

Inayat Bunglawala, founder of Muslims4UK and formerly a senior figure at the Muslim Council of Britain, blamed the growth of creationist belief among Muslims partly on the campaign of Adnan Oktar, a Turkish author who writes under the name Harun Yahya.

He began his work after studying the success of Christian creationists in America. He links Darwinism to Nazism and his books include The Skulls that Demolish Darwin, which proclaims “the burial of Darwinism as Europe awakens”. Speakers sent by Yahya regularly tour Britain and earlier this year spoke in London, Manchester, Leeds, Dundee and Glasgow. They spoke at UCL in 2008.

Bunglawala said: “He has glossy books and videos, which are heavily promoted by Islamic bookshops and on Islamic TV channels where they are aired many hours a day.”

He added: “It is unfortunate that some Muslim students, when it comes to the opportunity to learn about evolution, boycott them [sic] without even listening or walk out of classes. This goes against the express words of the Koran which are to read, open your mind and use your critical faculties.

“Many Christian thinkers have ... learnt to interpret the Bible in a way which does not in any way negate the teaching of science ... it is important Muslim thinkers perform the same service.”
Source: Sunday Times (£)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

this clash of cultures is getting worse.

Anonymous said...

The evidence for evolution is overwhelming and utterly convincing; the evidence for Islam is zero.

Free-thinking, rational and scientific enquiry versus closed-thinking, irrational and superstitious.

Clash of cultures is right. But how do we break this powerful spell?

Martin UK

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

The answer is here.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

The evidence for evolution is overwhelming and utterly convincing; the evidence for Islam is zero.

Free-thinking, rational and scientific enquiry versus closed-thinking, irrational and superstitious.

Clash of cultures is right. But how do we break this powerful spell?

Martin UK"

No.

Check it yourself:
http://themythofevolution.com/

The muslims are wrong and so are the evos.
Both are wrong in two different ways, both are hostile teachings.
Next time sir, do not speak on subjects you do not grasp, it's a delusional thing to believe everything sprang out of nothing.

Shows us how good the socialists have been at brainwashing you all, and also shows why we now sit with this effed up situation, without atheists we would not have even 1% of these muzzies in any countries, they would still be the backwards societies riding around on camels in the desert, instead the traitorous socialists atheists brought the swine in in record numbers.

They brainwashed you just as good as the muzzies have been brainwashed, you are both two groups of brainwashed morons. Sorry but you are wrong and so are the muzzie.

A fact, no it's all a faith based system brainwashed into little kids at public schools by wicked atheists. It's delusional to think everything came from nothing, that's have delusional the materialists are, just as effed up as the muslim "blow shit and people up and you go to the whorehouse in the sky for eternal sex orgy". Both your world views are wrong and effed up.

So stop this fact bs, it doesn't make it more true, the other socialist Goebbles was correct when he said to repeat the lies, that's how they brainwashed you, repeated the same lie "it's a fact it's a fact it's a fact" same shit the muzzies repeat their lies "blahblah is god blahblah is god blah blah is god" repeating the same pray five times a day just like you people are reminded "evolution is a fact", probably more than five times a day.

Read the link and see how you do not have a factual worldview but a religious one just like the muzzies.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a faith which depends upon ancient ignorant authorities which are out of their depth in modern biology & scientific evidence. Their ignorance is apalling. Should they be on an advanced scientific course? Put it this way, would you rely upon the account of Noah's ark from our bible to design an ocean going ship? So why accept old stuff about physiology & biology that was not even known at the time of these ancient mythological texts. What has ancient Islam, for instance, to say about the use of anaesthetics, antibiotics, X rays, MRI scans,etc.? Nothing, ? How surprising. NOMA--Stephen J Gould-- look it up!

Anonymous said...

Very correct. There is growing number of science based facts emerging that supports Darwinistic approach of evolution. You can see it around you every day. Species around you evolve to match the environment they live in. If God created all species, why not create every type of species to match the environment they live in. Why leave it to the Bacteria, Amoeba and higher animals to adapt for themself. It has been proved that the basic amino acids that are required for evolution of life exists during big bang. These exotic particles combine to become life. Why cant those sucker just accept this fact.

GroovyJ said...

Make evolution and genetics a separate course, and make it required to graduate with a degree in biology. The alternative is that in ten years time you're going to have a whole pile of "biologists who don't believe in evolution" to be used as an argument from authority, and the teaching of science is going to be that much harder.

If you're not willing to learn biology, you shouldn't get to be certified as a biologist. It's that simple. If people want to learn about evolution and then perform experiments to prove it empicially false, that is of course totally in the spirit of science, and should be embraced. Refusing to study one of the foundational concepts of your discipline should be a guarantee of failure.

Student of Allah said...

Peace,

It isnt the first time muslims would contradict the Qur'an to promote arab traditions.

------- Student of Allah

BunBun4life said...

Fucking idiots. Just because they don't believe in it, doesn't mean they have to act like twats. They could just sit there and continue to 'not believe' I guess they have to leave, otherwise a free thought synapse might spark in their brain.

zeke said...

To the believers:

The God hypothesis is just that, a hypothesis that, no offense, ignorant people assume true when they cannot grasp the natural evolving history of life with ancient simple unicellular origins.

Also, why not critically examine the possible circumstances around which material for a book written in Hebrew by Jews approximately 2500 y ago, and claiming to explain the origins of the universe, earth and life itself by invoking superstition, could have arisen?

Keep in mind that people then did not know about evolution, much less its genetics basis, the nature of diseases, the life cycles of stars, gravity, the cellular, molecular and chemical structure of living beings, and the anatomical and physiological organization of tissues that any "intelligent" Creator would surely have made better.

Finally, muslims and other religious devouts claiming that evolution fits with their scripture: PLEASE explain when god decided to breathe a moral soul into one of the millions of animal types. Was it when anatomically modern humans emerged or when simple culture first appeared, some 50000 y ago? And why wait with telling but a small group of them how they should live their lives until 2500 y ago?

A final question: If you are not willing to question the legitimacy of your beliefs and its origins, just as science constantly checks itself for errors, then how can you accept anything science has come up with such as evolution or genetics?

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